Activity Overview

Starting a unit or lesson with the key vocabulary that students will see in their readings or presentations aids in overall comprehension and retention. In this activity, students will create a storyboard that defines and illustrates key vocabulary related to the region of the Northwest Coast and its First Nations. Students will preview the terms and definitions and use whole class or small group discussion to demonstrate their understanding of each meaning. Then, they will create a Spider map of 3-8 terms at the teachers discretion.


Names of some of the First Nations of the Northwest Coast:

  • Tlingit
  • Haida
  • Tsimshian
  • Kwakiutl
  • Bella Coola (Nuxalk)
  • Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka)
  • Coast Salish
  • Quileute-Chimakum
  • Kwalhioqua
  • Chinook
  • Tillamook
  • Yurak

Potlatch: A potlatch is a gift-giving feast practiced by Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of Canada and the United States.

Dip Net: a tool used for fishing; net bags were hung from a pole

Dentalium: a shiny white shell shaped like a tusk that was used as money by the North Coast Native Americans

Plank Houses: long wooden houses, some up to 60 feet long built by the Kwakiutl

Cedar: a type of evergreen tree

Salmon: a large fish with silvery scales that live in the North Pacific and Atlantic oceans

Totem Pole: a wooden pole decorated with carved animals. It was a status symbol of wealth for families.

Ceremony: the way people act during important events/a celebration

Talking Sticks: a stick in which a whale's tail is carved. A sign of a family's strength.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: To learn the meanings of words relating to our lesson you will preview the vocabulary and create a storyboard that demonstrates your understanding of different words.

Student Instructions

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the title boxes, identify the key terms you have chosen.
  3. In the description boxes, write the definition of the term.
  4. Create a visualization for each term using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  5. Save and exit when you're done.

Requirements: Must have 3 terms, correct definitions and appropriate illustrations for each that demonstrate your understanding of the words.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/L/6/3] Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening
  • [ELA-Literacy/L/6/4] Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 6 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies
  • [ELA-Literacy/L/6/6] Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Define and illustrate each of the key terms.
7 Points
4 Points
1 Points
The vocabulary words are correctly defined.
The meaning of the vocabulary words can be understood but it is somewhat unclear.
The vocabulary word is not clearly defined
The storyboard illustrations clearly depict the meaning of the vocabulary words.
The illustrations relate to the meaning of the vocabulary words but it they are difficult to understand.
The illustrations do not clearly relate to the meaning of the vocabulary words.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.

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